OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Midland University is looking for innovative ways to boost enrollment, including offering scholarships in sports programs such as shotgun and powerlifting, and even esports. The Omaha World-Herald that the university is recruiting students with scholarships in 32 competitive activities. Administrators say it’s the largest number of varsity activities offered by any Nebraska college. Midland is also planning to give each student an iPad and an Apple Pencil next fall. Midland’s president, Jody Horner, says the college must be “relentlessly relevant” to today’s students. The university’s enrollment has grown from 640 in 2009 to nearly 1,400 in 2018. Sophomore nursing student Joe Pena is a super-heavyweight powerlifter who was recruited to Midland. He says Midland is a rare college that offers scholarships to powerlifters. Administrators say they’ve received little criticism for their creative recruitment approach.
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